Wandering in Woodacre – 11 June 2021

Contemporary Russian Art – Evgenia Nebolsina

Below (photographs) – “Lotus Flower”; “The River I”; “Natalia”; “Deep Space”; “Blue Naked.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 11 June 1925 – William Styron, an American novelist, essayist, author of “The Confessions of Nat Turner,” “Sophie’s Choice,” and “Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness,” and recipient of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

Some quotes from the work of William Styron:

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”
“The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone’s neurosis, and we’d have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads.”
“I thought there’s something to be said for honor in this world where there doesn’t seem to be any honor left. I thought that maybe happiness wasn’t really anything more than the knowledge of a life well spent, in spite of whatever immediate discomfort you had to undergo, and that if a life well spent meant compromises and conciliations and reconciliations, and suffering at the hands of the person you love, well then better that than live without honor.”
“Depression is a disorder of mood, so mysteriously painful and elusive in the way it becomes known to the self — to the mediating intellect– as to verge close to being beyond description. It thus remains nearly incomprehensible to those who have not experienced it in its extreme mode.”
“‘Someday I will understand Auschwitz.’ This was a brave statement but innocently absurd. No one will ever understand Auschwitz. What I might have set down with more accuracy would have been: ‘Someday I will write about Sophie’s life and death, and thereby help demonstrate how absolute evil is never extinguished from the world.’ Auschwitz itself remains inexplicable. The most profound statement yet made about Auschwitz was not a statement at all, but a response.
The query: ‘At Auschwitz, tell me, where was God?’
And the answer: ‘Where was man?’”
“We each devise our means of escape from the intolerable.”
“Reading – the best state yet to keep absolute loneliness at bay.”

Contemporary Australian Art – Donna Huntriss

Below – “Coolangatta Cockatoos”; “Socrates Table Cafe, Berry Street, Nowra”; “122 Berry Street, Berry NSW”; “The Cake Store on Kinghorne Street”; “Red Parrots Arrive at the Fig Tree”; “Regeneration.”

A Poem for Today

“Joy”
by Stuart Kastenbaum

The asters shake from stem to flower
waiting for the monarchs to alight.

Every butterfly knows that the end
is different from the beginning

and that it is always a part
of a longer story, in which we are always

transformed. When it’s time to fly,
you know how, just the way you knew

how to breathe, just the way the air
knew to find its way into your lungs,

the way the geese know when to depart,
the way their wings know how to

speak to the wind, a partnership of feather
and glide, lifting into the blue dream.

Below – Katharine Nikki Dalton: “Geese in Flight”

Contemporary French Art – Golnaz ARFAZ

Below – “Le regard”; “Portrait n. 7”; “Blue time”; “Suddenly orange”; “Cold dream”; “Summer picnic.”

A Poem for Today

“Meeting the Light Completely”
by Jane Hirshfield

Even the long-beloved
was once
an unrecognized stranger.

Just so,
the chipped lip
of a blue-glazed cup,
blown field
of a yellow curtain,
might also,
flooding and falling,
ruin your heart.

A table painted with roses.
An empty clothesline.

Each time,
the found world surprises—
that is its nature.

And then
what is said by all lovers:
“What fools we were, not to have seen.”

Below – Gregor Pratneker: “The Lovers”

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